Oct 4, 2022
The Planning Inspectorate has accepted for examination the application submitted by Equinor on behalf of its partners to develop the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Extensions (SEP and DEP), both of which are situated off the North Norfolk coast and would power the equivalent of an additional 785,000 UK homes.
If SEP and DEP are built, the projects will support more than 1800 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs per year across the UK and within East Anglia during the construction phase. The long-term operation of the two wind farms will also support additional direct employment, as well as through the supply chains which are developing to support the growth of the offshore wind sector in East Anglia. Additionally, SEP and DEP would create over £340 million in direct gross value added (GVA)over the construction period.
After the application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) was submitted by Equinor in early September 2022, the Planning Inspectorate had 28 days to decide whether the application was sufficient to be accepted for examination.
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Commenting on the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to accept the SEP and DEP DCO application for examination, Equinor’s Project Director Kari Hege Mørk said:
“We are very pleased with this decision, and we will be offering our full co-operation to the Planning Inspectorate throughout the coming examination period.
“As we have developed these projects over the last three years, we have sought to find ways to maximise local benefits and minimise disruption. We have consulted widely with the local community throughout the process, including two rounds of community consultation and a series of public information days, and we will continue to maintain proactive community communications throughout the examination period.”
Following extensive consultation, Equinor has integrated several design changes into SEP and DEP to mitigate local disruption. The projects will include trenchless crossings of all A and B roads and 20 other local roads; construction of a haul road along the cable route to reduce the number of access points and Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) movements on the local road network; and have repositioned numerous construction access locations to meet stakeholder and landowner requests, thus avoiding impacts to the local environment and ensuring road safety.
Additionally, opportunities for Biodiversity Net Gain are being assessed through engagement with local communities and nature conservation bodies, to enhance local wildlife habitats.